Carbon Nanotubes Could Have Asbestos-Like Health Complications ~ The Truth About Mesothelioma

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Carbon Nanotubes Could Have Asbestos-Like Health Complications

A recent laboratory study has shed new light on the possibility of a nexus between carbon nanotube exposure and the asbestos-like health effects.

Carbon nanotubes are molecular-level structures that are now being used in thousands of products from tennis rackets and hair dryers to computer chips and electronics. They are renowned for their unparalleled strength and remarkably low mass, and were seen by a number of as the next frontier of product durability.

The study, which involved laboratory mice, indicated that upon introduction into the lower abdomen, nanotubes had virtually identical effects as asbestos fibers. When inhaled or ingested, asbestos fibers will become lodged in the pleural lining of the body's internal organs.

Over time, these fibers cause a sustained inflammation of the internal tissue. This inflammation is usually linked to the beginning stages of asbestosis and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer now only attributed to asbestos exposure.

Like asbestos fibers, nanotubes are extremely durable and cannot be broken down or expelled by natural body function.

While there is no immediate reason for concern, (most nanotubes are securely adhered within structural compounds) there is certainly justification for further research. Those who may potentially be endangered are those who work in the manufacture of these products as well as those who encounter damaged products.

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